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Santa Rosa, CA Event Planning

Key Highlights

Hotels 24
Total Sleeping Rooms 2,120
Committable Sleeping Rooms* 250
Largest Exhibit Space 40,000 Sq. Ft.
Largest Ballroom 7,000 Sq. Ft.
Average Hotel Room Rate USD $139
Average Daily Meal Cost USD $61
Average Weekly Car Rental USD $331
*Maximum for a single hotel

Santa Rosa, CA Meeting Planning Overview

Welcome to Cvent's meeting and event planning guide to Santa Rosa, the largest city in picturesque Sonoma County. It is a warm, friendly, and vibrant meeting and tourism destination nestled in the heart of the world-famous Sonoma wine country. Boasting an urban blend of art and culture, food and wine, and year-round outdoor recreation, Santa Rosa is an ideal location for meetings, conventions, retreats, and social events, thanks to its prime meeting space, excellent hotels, and unique venues accommodating up to 5,000 guests. The beautiful countryside, gentle rolling hills, mild climate, and convenient proximity to such highlights as the Pacific Coast, Russian River, and towering California redwoods awe delegates, travelers, and residents alike. What's more, Santa Rosa sits just 55 miles north of San Francisco and within 30 minutes of more than 400 Sonoma County wineries and tasting rooms, including seven within Santa Rosa itself.

Delegates can easily reach Santa Rosa via the Charles M. Schulz Sonoma County Airport, which is located 8 miles outside Santa Rosa. As the only area airport with scheduled air service into the North Bay region, it offers daily nonstop service to and from Los Angeles, Portland, San Diego, Seattle, and Orange County via Alaska Airlines; service to Phoenix with American Airlines; and service to San Francisco through United and Sun Country Airlines. Airport passengers can hop aboard Sonoma County Transit and Mendocino Transit Authority service, which provide regular buses to Santa Rosa. Additional regional public transportation providers include Golden Gate Transit, which provides weekday bus service between San Francisco and Santa Rosa, and the Santa Rosa CityBus, which runs daily bus service throughout Santa Rosa and the surrounding area. The San Francisco Bay Area's newest transportation option, Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) train service, began in August 2017. It offers passenger rail service in Sonoma and Marin counties. SMART's initial 43 miles of rail corridor includes 10 stations, from the Sonoma County Airport to Downtown San Rafael.

Santa Rosa is home to a variety of meeting and event venues, ranging from hotels to cultural attractions. The 200-acre Sonoma County Event Center multiuse complex serves as the largest event venue in Santa Rosa, as it features a total of 105,838 square feet of event space, including six meeting and exhibition halls, one open-air amphitheater, an upscale barn, and two open-air arenas. Delegates also enjoy an on-site restaurant, RV park, 18-hole golf course, 5-acre lawn area, shaded parks, and even an off-track betting facility. Event venue options include the 26,934-square-foot Hall of Flowers, which accommodates 2,400 people and boasts painted murals and an adjacent patio, as well as the 11,200-square-foot Finley Hall, which accommodates 1,200 people and features large windows and surrounding lawns. Grace Pavilion is the largest exhibit space at 40,500 square feet.

Unique event venues in Santa Rosa include an exotic wildlife preserve, the former home of a world-renowned horticulturist, the North Bay's premier arts center, a nonprofit performing arts theater, and a vintage aircraft museum — just to name a few. Groups can hop aboard private safaris, reserve an animal encounter, or even book an overnight stay at the 400-acre Safari West, which offers African adventure in the heart of the California wine country. Home to more than 900 exotic mammals and birds, this wildlife preserve and African tent camp welcomes 60,000 guests annually to view its animals. They have the option to stay in one of the camp tents, which feature pillow-top mattresses, private bathrooms, hardwood floors, and private decks. Safari West also features two meeting rooms: the 100-person Elephant Room and 35-person Gazebo, which is surrounded by exotic bird enclosures. Groups can also get up close and personal with nature at the spectacular Luther Burbank Home & Gardens, a unique city park and the former home and workplace of horticulturist Luther Burbank. Groups can reserve private tours of the specialty gardens and modified Greek Revival house, as well as hold private events for up to 100 people.

Santa Rosa arts and cultural venues doubling as event locations include the popular Luther Burbank Center for the Arts, which hosts music, dance, theater, comedy, family, and arts education programming. Recognized as the North Bay's premier arts center and one of the world's top 100 performing-arts venues, the Luther Burbank Center for the Arts features a number of event-capable spaces, including the 1,681-seat Ruth Finley Person Theater, the largest fixed-seat venue in Sonoma County; the 399-seat East Auditorium; the 43,200-square-foot Pavilion, which is set amid California redwoods; the 9,000-square-foot Atrium; and three conference rooms, among other spaces. Santa Rosa's 6th Street Playhouse, located in the Railroad Square historic district, hosts the Actors Theatre company and the Santa Rosa Players, Sonoma County's oldest community theater company — and it offers private event capabilities in its 184-seat auditorium and 110-person lobby. The Pacific Coast Air Museum at the Charles M. Schulz Sonoma County Airport welcomes groups to climb aboard and view 30 vintage aircraft, mainly hailing from the Cold War and Vietnam War eras. The museum offers private group tours and event space rentals.

About Santa Rosa, CA / Additional Info

A spectacular blend of wine country, farm country, redwood forests, rivers, and lakes, Santa Rosa is fit for foodies, outdoor enthusiasts, wine aficionados, artists, and those just looking for a place to unwind. Visitors delight in Santa Rosa's charming downtown, which is lined with shops and restaurants, as well as its gallery-rich South A Street Arts District and the historic Railroad Square district, a turn-of-the-century neighborhood that serves as the center of town and a shopping, dining, and entertainment hub. Santa Rosa also features 57 parks within city limits, a number of museums and agritourism sites, and a variety of historic walking tours throughout the region. Visitors to Santa Rosa are within 40 minutes of Bodega Bay's ocean beaches, seafood restaurants, and marina.

First a place of livestock for Spanish and Mexican settlers, Santa Rosa still celebrates its agricultural roots through its picture-perfect landscape and agritourism sites. It grew steadily after California became a state, and by 1870, it was the eighth-largest city in California. Santa Rosa was tested after its downtown was destroyed in the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake but grew substantially after World War II and even served as the location of such major films as Hitchcock's Shadow of a Doubt.

Today, there's no doubt that this wine country destination is bursting with Northern California charm. Visitors can stop by the new Vintners' Square, an urban winery village that is home to several small boutique wineries. Platypus Wine Tours features daily wine-tasting adventures to hidden-gem wineries in the Sonoma region, while Getaway Adventures offers a variety of wine country biking, hiking, kayaking, and van tours centered on stops at area wineries.

Major attractions include the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center, which celebrates the internationally famous cartoonist and creator of Peanuts, who lived and worked in the area for 40 years. The family-friendly museum sits within the Schulz Campus, which features Snoopy's Gallery and Gift Shop, the Warm Puppy Cafe, and Snoopy's Home Ice, an ice arena designed by Schulz himself. The majestic Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve preserves towering coast redwoods, with the tallest tree measuring 310 feet and the oldest clocking in at 1,400 years old. Visitors can explore the self-guided nature trails and enjoy the picnic facilities and outdoor amphitheater in the free-admission park. For an outdoor experience of another kind, visitors can catch world-class concerts at the Green Music Center, set on the Sonoma State University campus in Rohnert Park.

Santa Rosa's renowned Northern California wine country cuisine can be experienced at such eateries as the John Ash & Co. Front Room Bar & Lounge, which showcases its vineyard setting in the four-diamond Vintners Inn. Ca'Bianca Restaurant specializes in regional Italian cuisine hailing from Milano to Sicilia, while the romantic La Gare French Restaurant crafts traditional French cuisine from fresh, local ingredients. Jack & Tony's Restaurant & Whisky Bar in Santa Rosa's Railroad Square serves modern American cuisine and more than 300 whisky options, while Mary's Pizza Shack offers several Santa Rosa locations, all serving Italian comfort food created daily from scratch.

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